For anyone who plays fantasy football, there’s nothing quite as dreadful as having an alert pop up on Saturday that one of your players is “Questionable” to play on Sunday. It’s one thing if this shows up on Tuesday or Wednesday—that gives the guy in question a few days to get himself right, or at worst it gives you a few days to find an alternative option to plug and play. But on Saturday? That’s less than 24 hours notice, and sends even the most experienced pretend-GM into a tizzy of anxiety—one that becomes exponentially worse if the player in question is one of your marquee guys.
This is precisely what happened to scores of fantasy players this past Saturday when word came out that Adrian Peterson was questionable to play against Detroit on Sunday due to an “illness.”
Now, most people probably figured that the illness in question wasn’t Ebola, and they likely assumed Peterson would work through whatever it was and play.
But things got even stranger on Sunday when word came out that this “illness” was actually a result of Peterson having swallowed chewing tobacco on the team flight to Michigan, prompting him to vomit on the team bus after they landed. (Maybe he just really, really doesn’t like Detroit?)
If this is true, it’s both funny and gross, but must have made the Vikings brass rather unhappy. After all, what kind of unprofessional buffoon would bring a filthy habit like chewing tobacco into the workplace? Head Coach Mike Zimmer must have been furious…
Okay, bad example.
So, what does Peterson have to say about all this? Well, after helping the Vikings defeat the Lions yesterday, he denied to reporters that his physical reaction was caused by swallowing tobacco. Now, he didn’t deny that he chews tobacco—in fact, his explanation was that he chews it so much that, by this point, his body is “immune” to its effects. Um. Okay. So then what does Peterson believe was the actual culprit for his sickness?
That’s right, Peterson says that he is allergic to shellfish—something he learned after having a bad reaction to some jambalaya a few years back during training camp. And though he knows he should avoid it completely, sometimes he just can’t help himself. “I love shrimp so much that I go against the grain sometimes,” he confessed to reporters. But he reassured them by adding: “I always make sure I keep an EpiPen with me.” Good thinking, AP.
Whatever the culprit, it didn’t seem to affect Peterson’s performance in Sunday’s game, as he notched 110 all-purpose yards on the day. And in the grand scheme of things, it seems like a minor offense. It’s not like he missed the team flight entirely or tried to fight his coach and half his teammates. In today’s NFL, barfing on the team bus after swallowing tobacco (or shrimp) seems almost quaint, doesn’t it?